Monday, May 10, 2010

Detroit Calling Pittsburgh

There's already some press feedback from the Lexington-Louisville tour of Pittsburgh:

"Where we are today took 30 years; it was not overnight," said Dennis Yablonsky, the Allegheny Conference's CEO. "I'm getting a lot of calls from Detroit these days."

How did it happen? The Kentuckians were told that Pittsburgh's public and private sectors came together to reinvent the local economy by creating new business sectors in the region's core strengths: manufacturing, energy and finance. "We created a balanced, diversified economy," Yablonsky said.

One key factor was long-term investment in higher education, especially the region's major research universities, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks in largely to that research, the region now has 1,600 technology companies and advanced manufacturing plants.

1 comment:

LJR said...

Over 80% of the patents filed in the Pittsburgh region were from companies, not the university system. Larger companies that have facilities here certainly did not "depend" on university research. As the amount of federal funding has increased over the past decade, the number of patents and start up companies out of the university system has DECLINED significantly.

Though the universities are following the trend of trying to establish start up companies (as now they are being evaluated more on start up activity they help justify the public funding they receive), the amount of public funding is expected to decline significantly in alignment with federal and state budgetary pressures.

Non-profit bureaucracies are not known to have a "model" worth emulating when it comes to entrepreneurship and the commercialization of innovation. You may see more "manufactured" start-ups but you can be guaranteed of a much higher failure rate as well.

The circumstances of those other regions are vastly different from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh demographic trends will definitely alter the scope/breadth of the amount and type of federal funding to be received..especially in the healthcare/medical area where competition is increasing (i.e. many other regions in the US and throughout the world are specializing and spending a lot of money...especially private money)...over the next decade..